CategoriesDigital learningEvents

Civil society fishbowl on digital learning

In the beautiful hall of Tallinna Ülikool took place the annual conference of the Lifelong Learning Platform <Education in the Digital World> a flipped e-discussion taking place also on Twitter with the #LLLPAC17 hashtag.

The digital Fishbowl gathered Civil Society representatives of European NGOs active in the Lifelong learning field and was coordinated by the Lifelong Learning Platform.

The Fishbowl touched upon the most burning issues around Digital Technologies in Education like neutrality, handwriting vs keyboard, BYOD and GAFAM.

The 6 following statements were opened for contribution f2f and online to ALL the fishbowl participants.

1. Net Neutrality

Digital tools are not neutral. Freedom of expression and inclusion must be quality principles that should be safeguarded. Careful evaluation of digital tools must be ensured. There should be space for innovation, but careful evaluation should always follow. Inclusive pedagogical principles must be followed, sometimes at of cost of sensational digital technologies. Freedom of teaching must be ensured in all the learning settings, but this can only happen through periodic teacher training.

2. Non-formal Education

3. GAFAM influence

"GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft) are trying to impose their standards in Education" Excerpt of the upcoming paper of the Lifelong Learning Platform

4. Handwriting

Many news agencies reported that in Finland handwriting skills will be replaced by keyboard skills. This is however not completely true. Handwriting are still strong part of the curricula. But proficency in digital writing is also discussed.

5. Bring Your Own Device

The Estonian government openly promotes the Bring Your Own Device approach. Families are required to provide learners with mobile devices. Local government must support the inclusion of learners with weak social backgrounds. Schools and educators should provide content which can be run on mobile phones primarily. This approach is different in Finland, where the government has sufficient funds to provide all students with a learning device. The justification is that BYOD is a discriminating policy because as it favours social competition and bullying.

6. Early use of technology

Many educators are warning about the risks of the use of digital tools in the early childhood. Some schools are implementing policy of technological abstention in primary schools.


The Lifelong Learning Platform will soon publish a position paper of the civil society views on the use of digital technology in lifelearning.

Published by Daniele Di Mitri

Daniele Di Mitri is a research group leader at the DIPF - Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education and a lecturer at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany. Daniele received his PhD entitled "The Multimodal Tutor" at the Open University of The Netherlands (2020) in Learning Analytics and wearable sensor support. His research focuses on collecting and analysing multimodal data during physical interactions for automatic feedback and human behaviour analysis. Daniele's current research focuses on designing responsible Artificial Intelligence applications for education and human support. He is a "Johanna Quandt Young Academy" fellow and was elected "AI Newcomer 2021" at the KI Camp by the German Informatics Society. He is a member of the editorial board of Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence journal, a member of the CrossMMLA, a special interest group of the Society of Learning Analytics Research, and chair of the Learning Analytics Hackathon (LAKathon) series.

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